A little over three years ago, Steve Gleason spoke to the Washington State Cougars before their matchup against Arizona State. Washington State was in the midst on another subpar season, Paul Wulff's last. The Cougars had lost five straight after winning three of their first four, and weren't expected to do much against Arizona State.
We know what happened next. Connor Halliday came on in the first quarter, threw an 85-yard bomb to Marquess Wilson, and the Cougars won 37-27. It was the highlight of the season on a chilly night in Pullman.
After the game, everyone coming through the interview room talked about the impact of Steve Gleason. Wulff walked in with the game ball, and when asked whether it was for Halliday he shook his head no and said "It's Steve Gleason's." Halliday recounted a quiet moment with Gleason from the night before, when the quarterbacks saw him coming through the locker room.
Words like inspiration were used to describe Gleason, as they are, rightfullly, with frequency these days. The players and coaches recounted teary eyes in the locker room as he spoke to the team before the game, saying there wasn't a dry eye in the room.
Which all leads us to this:
The players are going to get a hell of a speech ahead of the Apple Cup. Not just about the game, or football, but about life.
It's Senior Night and the Apple Cup, but it's really Steve Gleason's night. He'll speak to the team before the game and be honored between the first and second quarters as he's inducted in the Washington State Athletics Hall of Fame. It's a night for everyone in Pullman, including Gleason, to remember.